Secrets of the Reverse Polarized Connector

August 4, 2016 at 8:00 AM


What is a reversed polarized connector? What are they for and why do we need them? If these are the questions that keep you up at night, or if you just like to stay informed, we have the knowledge you seek.  Here, we will uncover the secrets of the reverse polarized connector.


A reverse polarized coaxial connector is a variation of a standard polarized connector in which the gender of the interface has been reversed. The term “reverse polarity” only refers to the gender of the contact pin, not to the signal polarity of the connector.


The reverse polarized connector will have the same external housing as the standard version (jack or plug threading) but the center contact pin is altered to be reversed. So, a reverse polarized jack has a male pin in place of the standard female receptacle. And a reverse polarized plug will have a center receptacle instead of a male pin.  


Here is a handy chart to paint a clearer picture:


Reverse polarized connectors were developed in order to separate professional and commercially available equipment. The intent was for reverse polarized connectors to prevent consumers from mating high-gain professional antennas with commercial wireless equipment, which is a violation of federal or international law. Though today, both standard and reverse polarized connectors are widely available which provides more options to make installation easier.


The most common reverse polarized interfaces are RP-SMA and RP-TNC. They are commonly used for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee connections as well as with GPS and cellular antennas.



When ordering reverse polarity connectors, you should always refer to the body as “plug” or “jack” (i.e. reverse polarity TNC plug), never use the terms "male" or "female" when describing a reverse polarity connector. Male and female should only be used when describing the pin, this helps eliminate any confusion when ordering.


For more secrets of these, or any connectors, check out our Connector Chart/Reference Guide.


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